Supernatural

Season 1 Episode 8

Bugs

29
Aired Tuesday 9:00 PM Nov 08, 2005 on The CW
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (75)

8.0
out of 10
Average
1,343 votes
  • Even if there is absolutely no basis in truth for this episode, I don't think I'm going to be moving to Oklahoma.

    8.4
    If you have (heaven forbid) read the other reviews I've posted, you'll have probably noticed and wondered why I don't include Bugs in my shortlist of episodes that I just really don't like (namely Wendigo, Benders, and No Exit [Isxoda Net]). There are two answers, really. The first is that I just forgot about it when I first made that statement. The longer answer, though, is that the reason I forgot about it, and the reason I'm not really bothered, even though I don't think it's a high-class episode, is that it just is kind of laughable. It doesn't bother me so much to watch it because I can just say "yes, it's not a series classic: but it is still vaguely entertaining."

    I'm not particularly creeped out by bugs (although this morning I did see a spider in my bed and like most normal people, don't particularly enjoy having such company as a bedfellow). However, I definitely remember some stuff from my childhood that made me scared of bugs back then (and as someone I know loves to repeat ad nauseam, "most of a child's outlook and belief system is created at a very young age, around the dinner table.") Just like the book on The Exorcism I was allowed to check out of the library, or Beetlejuice (I swear, my parents were good and loving...I think their line was just that if I found something, I should not read it or watch it. Obviously, I failed miserably at following that rule.), I was scared by a movie my older siblings were watching – I can't remember much more about the storyline than that there was a typical suburban family trapped in their house by killer bees. It's a pretty famous movie, though, you probably know what I'm talking about. I didn't like that, so much. I DID like a book series, the title of which I believe was something ingenious like "Real Scary Stories," "More Real Scary Stories," etc. They were collections of urban myths. Anyway, one story took place in Guatemala, I believe, and it was about the girl, bitten by a spider, who was in the shower when the swollen spider bite suddenly bursts and out pour hundreds of cute little baby spiders. I definitely thought of that story the next few times I had bug bites.

    Speaking of bug bites and the teaser death (by the way, what self-respecting blue-collar worker from Oklahoma says "phat," may I ask you? Moving on...) all I could think about during the beetle scene (other than The Mummy) was the line from Lord of the Rings: "What do they eat when they can't get hobbit?!" I've certainly experienced that more than once, running in the woods...no matter how many bottles of bug spray you throw on yourself, horse and deer flies are apparently impervious, and bury in your hair and…yeah. Gross.

    You know, it's rather ironic that the University of Oklahoma really does have a good anthropology department, I have a friend who is studying there right now. Ironic, because obviously Oklahoma is the site of one of the worst atrocities in American history (note: ONE of the worst, I'm not going to get into Manifest Destiny or internment camps and... "Bugs" is really just too ridiculous an episode for me to get into too angry a diatribe). Still, read Vonnegut's Hocus Pocus. Before I cut myself off, I DO have to ask how it is Joe and Jane American think it's ok to let their children play cowboys and Indians.

    The most amazing part of Supernatural as a series is that the Boys are constantly breaking the very very first rule of horror. If they weren't the protagonists, and if there weren't only two of them (that is, if there were some disposable regulars) they would surely die due to their willingness to split up, drop into dark holes, make deals with demons, etc. Well, I guess you could argue that they *have* died, but that's rather Harry Potter-have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too, so I'm ignoring it.

    I think the main issue people take with this episode is the final confrontation against el que no es humano. The Boys arrive at midnight, after Sam has apocalyptically declared that, "If they don't get that family out of there, they'll die." Not only do they not get the family out, but they themselves stay in the house, and within five minutes several hours have passed. I think a few things could have made this easier to believe, including changing the line to 3 am, or allowing more editing to show that time has elapsed while they were holed up in the house. The way it is currently edited, it seems as if they come inside, shut the door and close everything, and almost immediately bugs get through the flue. They escape to the attic, but almost immediately termites have chewed through the ceiling. I think it'd be possible to do this with even just a few shots of the downstairs, teeming with insects, while they're in the attic, maybe a shot of a battery-powered clock showing the new time.

    The larger problem, though, and one that I don't think is quite so close to the conscious level of viewing and thus isn't usually commented upon, is that the Boys don't do anything. They help the family hole themselves up, and Dean sprays at things with bug spray, but everything turns out to be quite ineffective. They are just too passive, and just like in English writing (I know I betray this rule all the time, so I'm just advocating what SHOULD happen, not what I myself do), the passive is the voice of the Devil. Literally.
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